Probing properties of the interfacial perimeter sites in TiOx/Au/SiO2 with 2-propanol decomposition

Yi Y. Wu, Harold H. Kung

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5 Citations (Scopus)


The decomposition of 2-propanol was studied over SiO2, SiO2 with an overlayer of TiO2 (Ti/SiO2), Au/SiO2, and Au/SiO2 with an overlayer of TiO2 (Ti/[Au/SiO2]) at 170–190 °C. There was no reaction on SiO2. Propene was the only product on Ti/SiO2, and its rate of formation increased proportionally with the Ti content. Acetone was the major product (selectivity 65–99%) on all Au-containing catalysts. Its rate of formation also increased with Ti loading. In addition, small amounts of propene were also formed on Ti/[Au/SiO2] the rate of which increased with Ti loading. Characterization of the catalysts with N2 adsorption, STEM, DR-UV-vis spectroscopy, XPS, XANES and EXAFS suggested that the Ti formed an amorphous TiO2 overlayer on the catalyst. At high Ti loadings (4–5 wt.%), there were patches of thick porous TiO2 layer, and some microdomains of crystalline TiO2 could be detected. Au was present as 1–3 nm nanoparticles on all catalysts, before and after used in reaction. Only Lewis acid sites were detected based on results from pyridine adsorption, and their quantities increased with Ti loading. Based on the comparison of reaction rates, the dependence of the kinetics on 2-propanol partial pressure, the apparent activation energies, and the effect of co-feeding O2 among different catalysts, it was concluded that propene was formed on the TiO2 overlayer, acetone was formed primarily at the Au-TiO2 interfacial perimeter sites, and α-C-H bond breaking preceding acetone formation was more facile on Au at the interfacial site than other surface Au atoms. Implication of these results to the selective acetone formation in the oxidation of propane in the presence of a O2/H2 mixture was discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-163
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Catalysis A: General
Publication statusPublished - Nov 25 2017


  • 2-Propanol decomposition
  • Catalysis
  • Interfacial perimeter site
  • Supported Au

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Process Chemistry and Technology

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